Where does a 1990s rap star fall on your list of immigration law experts? For the media the answer is: pretty high.
In the song, “Tear Down That Wall,” Chuck D compares Border Patrol agents to the Gestapo and equates immigration law to “modern day slavery.” In a statement explaining the song, he called Gov. Jan Brewer's decision to sign the law “racist, deceitful … and mean-spirited.” He has even said “the governor is a Hitler."
Putting aside his misinterpretation of the law – likely due at least in part to media mischaracterization – one has to wonder what qualified Chuck D as an expert on immigration law enforcement. According to ABC, it's his past “very public feud” with Arizona.
Chuck D and his rap group, Public Enemy,” released a single in 1991 attacking the state and its politicians for refusing to acknowledge the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
ABC's report, originally released by the industry publication Billboard, referred to Public Enemy as “socially conscious.” But the group was a lot more extreme than that. In “By the Time I Get to Arizona,” the band threatened to “make the state pay” with rap lyrics like “Call me the trigger man / looking for the governor.”
A report in the The Arizona Republic referred to “By the Time I Get to Arizona” as “incendiary,” but didn't explain why, other than to reference Chuck D's use of the racist term “cracker” to describe then-Gov. Evan Mecham.
Chuck D's comments fit perfectly into the Left's and the national media's message on Arizona's law. They have called Arizona a “police state” and the law “terrorism for the innocent” and “ sort of like Nazism.”